Led by Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Ilhan Omar, medal is the highest civilian honor from Congress
WASHINGTON—Today, the full Minnesota delegation in Congress introduced bipartisan legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Prince Rogers Nelson. The legislation is led by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) in the Senate and Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) in the House.
The bill honors Prince for his “legacy of musical achievement and… indelible mark on Minnesota and American culture.”
“Like so many, I grew up with Prince’s music. I was always proud to say he was from Minnesota,” said Klobuchar. “The world is a whole lot cooler because Prince was in it -- he touched our hearts, opened our minds, and made us want to dance. With this legislation, we honor his memory and contributions as a composer, performer, and music innovator. Purple reigns in Minnesota today and every day because of him.”
“Prince is a Minnesota icon,” said Omar. “I remember when I first came to America being captivated by Prince’s music and impact on the culture. He showed that it was okay to be a short, Black kid from Minneapolis and still change the world. He not only changed the arc of music history; he put Minneapolis on the map. Places like First Avenue, Uptown are landmarks because of Prince. I am proud to introduce this resolution to give Prince the recognition he deserves.”
“Prince was a Minnesotan who left us far too early. He was an internationally-renowned artist, showman, and producer, who thrilled millions of people across the world with his visionary skills as a musician and cultivator of other artist’s talent,” said Smith. “His complete body of work is still being recognized, as new discoveries remind us how important he still is as an artist. His Paisley Park gave life to a generation of other artists, who without him would not have realized their potential. His importance to American music cannot be measured, and the joy his music continues to bring to me and to millions of fans across the globe makes him an American treasure.”
“Beloved by generations of Minnesotans and millions of fans around the world, Prince Rogers Nelson is the pride and joy of our great state,” said Craig. “His contributions to American culture are unique and timeless – and I couldn’t be prouder to join the bipartisan effort to ensure that one of the finest musicians in history gets the recognition he deserves.”
“Prince was the embodiment of what it means to be an artist. A risk-taking provocateur, he was a poet at the vanguard of the human experience, telling stories about getting through this thing called life,” said Phillips. “It is fitting to reserve one of the highest civilian honors to such a Minnesotan, and I proudly join my colleagues to award the Congressional Gold Medal to one of MN-03’s most influential citizens.”
“Minnesotans are incredibly proud of Prince, our beloved cultural icon and a true musical genius. His music left an indelible mark on the cultural fabric of our state and our nation, and his legacy will continue to inspire new generations of musicians to dream big and embrace their inner artist,” said McCollum.
The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the United States Congress. Only 163 have been awarded since 1776, the first going to George Washington.
The full Minnesota delegation serve as original cosponsors, including Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and Representatives Jim Hagedorn (R-MN), Angie Craig (D-MN), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), and Pete Stauber (R-MN).
Following introduction, legislation bestowing a Congressional Gold Medal must be co-sponsored by two-thirds of the membership of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in order to be awarded.
# # #